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Dr. A. E. Abdun-Nur Residence by Paul Williams in Tarzana

Above images courtesy Huntington Digital Library
5085 Casa Drive
6 Beds/6 Baths on 4,877 sqft on a total lot size of 1.55 acres built in 1948 by renowned architect Paul Williams in Tarzana (who also designed the Craig Residence in West Hills, the Livingston Motor Car Company dearlership in Woodland Hills,  and possibly the Barbara Stanwyck residence in Northridge later owned by Jack Oakie and named the Oakridge estate). This home was last sold on June 27, 1994 for $800,000 and has not been the market ever since. The following description is from the site
When Paul R. Williams designed this California ranch-style home for Dr. and Mrs. Assad Abdun-Nur, the area was recognized as a residential community for the growing, wealthy Jewish and Middle Eastern population in Los Angeles. Born in Lebanon Dr. Abdun-Nur came to the United States in 1906 and completed his medical education in the North East. Abdun-Nur practiced general medicine from 1916 to 1956 and was head of a large Los Angeles clinic called by his name. Well known in "club circles" the Doctor was recognized as a leader in both the Lebanese Christian and medical communities. (Oxnard Daily Courier. October 6, 1921) In 1921 he married Amenie Abdelnour of Santa Paula. His bride was a member of an established Syrian family.

The Abdun-Nur Casa Drive home was known as a “landmark on the hills above Tarzana” (Los Angeles Times, April 26, 1953) and was the setting for large receptions honoring local leaders and important visitors from Lebanon. His son John was involved in the development of Tarzana as a primary investor in Orange Acre Estates, a subdivision of twenty-two half-acre home sites with bridle-trails and aquestrian stables (Los Angles Times April 24. 1949).

Swimming pools have always been an important part of the California lifestyle (image 2). In 1927 landscape architect Paul Thiene wrote "Our mild climate in California permits us to make use of an open-air swimming pool practically the entire year" (Landscape Architecture, October 1927) According to local lore the first residential swimming pool was constructed in Tarzana. Whether true or not, Williams placed the Abdun-Nur’s pool in a spectacular setting.
I visited this location recently to get some photos for this post and unfortunately, I wasnt able to capture anything because the home is perfectly hidden from the street level aside for the front gate. So I tried to take myself back to the early 50's to imagine the breathtaking views that this home offered especially with most of the area being undeveloped as shown below. You can notice in the second picture that by 1970, the surrounding area became mostly developed and I imagine started to block the breathtaking views especially as trees started to grow taller and electrical poles were added.

Above images courtesy
Image courtesy Google Maps
I cant find any information on the life of Dr. A.E. Abdun-Nur except for what is mentioned above which leaves very little clues on the history of this home such as when did Abdun-Nur  pass away, were there other surrounding properties owned by Abdun-Nur, and how long did this home remain in the Abdun-Nur family.

However, I was able to discover that Abdun-Nur's son, John along with his wife Margaret, lived in the home directly across the street from the Paul Williams designed home according to property records. John was also a doctor (with an office at 18356 Clark St #101 Tarzana, I believe) and lived a rather accomplished life as stated in his obituary (LA Times) who passed away at the age of 82 on January 31, 2008.  Margaret continues to own that home according to property records. Which begs the question who is the current owner of this Paul Williams masterpiece?

The current owner is Marshall Frankel who is owner of the Builders Fence Company which is a leading manufacturer, importer, and distributor of chain link and ornamental iron products and accessories. The headquarters is located on San Fernando Road in Sun Valley with satellite offices in El Cajon, Fontana, Sacramento, and Tacoma. Coincidentally, it appears that the Abdun-Nur residence was subdivided possibly sometime in the early 80's where a home was built that is also currently owned by Frankel. I believe this home is his main residence which measures 5 Beds/5 Baths with 4,789 sqft on a total lot size of 0.40 acres built in 1982. So Frankel owns the Abdun-Nur residence, a parcel of land adjacent to the residence that is part of the Abdun-Nur residence, and his own residence that was subdivided.

So until someone gains access to this home or becomes listed on the market, we eagerly await pictures and a description of its current status.

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Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

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